Amazon’s vice-president of Europe, Simon Murdoch, has quit the
online bookseller abruptly. A spokeswoman said he had left to ’pursue
Colleen Byrum, former head of customer service for Amazon in the US, has
taken over as interim general manager. Marketing
Barrington Lorains Johnson has been appointed to handle Littlewoods’
pounds 5 million account following a four-way pitch against J. Walter
Thompson Manchester, RSCR Direct Marketing and Different. BLJ will work
on the Index Extra and Littlewoods stores and catalogue businesses.
The Radio Authority has imposed its biggest-ever sanction on the
Oxford-based local radio station, Oxygen FM, issuing a fine of pounds
20,000 and shortening its eight-year licence by two years, after the
station fabricated live on-air programming to deceive the regulator.
Scottish Media Group is planning to increase its stake in the breakfast
TV company, GMTV. SMG, which has a 20 per cent stake in the company,
would gain control of GMTV if it were to buy the 25 per cent stake owned
by Walt Disney. Financial Times
Animal rights activists are planning a campaign in the UK against
McDonald’s, using shock imagery including a skinned cow’s head. The ads
are for the pressure group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals,
which claims it has already booked poster sites and press ads in the US.
Vodafone Airtouch has confirmed that it is in talks with Bell Atlantic
about a future partnership, which could range from rebuilding operation
links to a merger of the companies’ US arms. Any deal faces commercial
and regulatory hurdles which could take up to a year to resolve. The
IPC Magazines’ new internet venture, IPC Electric, has appointed a media
director to oversee the editorial content of the women’s network to be
launched later this year. Hilary Burden has previously been deputy
editor of Cosmopolitan and editor of New Woman in Australia. General
Somerfield has approached Safeway about a pounds 4 billion merger in an
effort to combat aggressive competition in the supermarket sector.
Safeway, however, has rejected the offer, saying it would not be in its
shareholders’ interests. The Independent
ONdigital has said that it will consider backing a TV venture headed by
its former director of programmes, Ashley Faull, in a move designed to
halt the loss of senior staff. Faull is looking to set up a company
making interactive programmes for TV and the internet. The Guardian
Following the demise of the Oxo family, new advertising for the brand
will feature a young couple enjoying a sexy romp. Five ads through J.
Walter Thompson will be piloted as part of a radical departure from
Oxo’s traditional advertising. The Sun
The launch last week of the BBC’s free internet service, which will
compete against Freeserve and Net-scape Online, has been criticised by
competitors and public bodies. BBC Worldwide’s chief executive, Rupert
Gavin, has said no public funds would be used to finance
free-beeb.net. General release.